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Our Favorite (Free!) Social Media Management Tools

At this day in age, it’s pretty safe to say that if you have internet connection, you’re active on some social media platform. Social media marketing is an essential component to any digital marketing campaign at this point as it establishes your brand presence, allows you to interact with potential customers and post engaging information. However, there are only so many hours in the day and small businesses might find it stressful to put in ample hours of social media time.

Fortunately there are numerous amounts of social media scheduling tools (for free!) that are here to help! These allow you to plan and schedule posts hours, days, even months into the future. Before you go on a scheduling rant, note that it’s important to do your research about the opportune times to post different promotions, content, and campaigns. It’s also important to remember that a successful social media marketing campaign focuses much on real-time engagement and reacting to followers’ interactions. Don’t rely completely on scheduling. With that said, we lay out our favorite, free social media scheduling tools to release some of that stress that comes with the essential marketing piece. 

Hootsuite:

Hootsuite allows you to manage a variety of social networks from Facebook and Twitter to Foursquare. You can post to multiple channels at the same time as well (NOTE: we don’t recommend cross-posting as your audience is different for each platform and no one wants to see automated posts). Hootsuite also allows you to monitor what people are saying about you to help in a quick response. With this tool, you can track twitter chats, mentions, hashtags, and more through various streams. The Autoschedule tool chooses a time based on previous history that schedules your updates based on the greatest chances of visibility. Perhaps the best feature of Hootsuite is that it analyzes your marketing campaigns and the performances of posts.

Buffer:

With Buffer you can schedule ten social updates at one time (unlimited with the paid version). Once again, you can distribute posts across multiple accounts and platforms. It’s super easy and even shrinks the link if you copy it right into the post. A cool feature of Buffer is that it gives ideas for relevant industry news if you seem to be having a brain-fart and can’t come up with content to share. It also offers a predetermined schedule so that you can consistently promote items. One of our favorite features of Buffer is that scheduled posts with images show in a Twitter newsfeed rather than as a link. Also, say you do have a problem (which we doubt you will because developers have made this tool SO easy to use); Buffer customer support is on point. They get back to you quickly with effective solutions.

SocialOomph:

SocialOomph has some key features as well. Yes, you can schedule posts easily like the two above, but you can also analyze posts and interact with your followers. This tool analyzes keywords or phrases that you use in your content to find other active social media members with similar content. You can also track URLs and monitor the number of users who click on which to see which content is performing the best. A highlight: the ability to make huge changes to Twitter like deleting a ton of DMs at once.

Each of these social media management tools is helpful and offers time-saving capabilities, but we want to reiterate the importance of being interactive with your followers in real-time as much as possible. However, these enable you to schedule and analyze your posts at various times of the day to increase engagement and post new, relevant information as much as possible. Upgrade to a paid version of these management tools for even more features that will significantly help in your social media efforts. 

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